How Idaho Springs plans to turn the Argo Mine Superfund site into a tourist attraction
Mine and its buildings will anchor a new urban development planners hope will make the town an economic hub again
May 16, 2017
IDAHO SPRINGS — At the end of the blasted, hard-rock tunnel is a bulkhead. Behind the wall — concrete and steel more than 3 feet thick — is almost 3 million gallons of water tainted by heavy metals. The words "do not open" are scrawled on the steel portal.
"That's some good advice right there," said Bob Bowland, a longtime Idaho Springs resident and councilman, his words echoing down the 12-by-12-foot stone shaft.
Back in the day, the Argo Tunnel ferried gold ore into one of the state's busiest mills and drained water from mines in the renowned "richest square mile on earth" around Central City.